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Evaluation of Innovation Support Programme: a final report


The Innovation Support Programme (ISP) aimed to encourage and support innovation within the Lanarkshire business community. The evaluation aimed to: consider the success or otherwise, access to, and value for money of the ISP in providing technical and innovation support services; assess the impact of each element of the ISP; establish the levels of client satisfaction of the ISP; and determine the success, or otherwise, of the delivery mechanism and its contribution to overall programme targets.


The methodology consisted of: desk-based research of programme-level data; face-to-face interviews with Scottish Enterprise (SE), Scottish Enterprise Lanarkshire (SEL), the Business Gateway, UXL ltd staff (contracted to run the ISP), ‘local’ university staff, 36 assisted companies, and 6 non-beneficiary companies; web-based survey of 20 assisted companies; and a qualitative and quantitative analysis of overall programme performance.


Suggests that the programme is meeting its objectives. Notes that awareness of innovation within assisted firms is increasing, implying that the ISP is reacting to its clients’ needs. The ISP is responding to more immediate needs identified by companies, rather than encouraging them to adopt a ‘longer term innovation culture’. The ISP’s support is improving both efficiency and growth within firms and offers good value for money. The key element of the ISP is the financial element which enables firms to remain competitive.


Recommends that: networking events for specific sectors should be considered; a more streamlined selection recruitment process should be implemented; and clients should be kept informed as to the support available through the ISP. Suggests that SEL should: assume responsibility for all management information; agree a performance measurement framework; develop and roll out a ‘stage gate system’; consider incorporating the Technical Assistance element of the programme into other components; and assess the feasibility of assuming full responsibility for overall project management. Notes that SE could develop a network system for the dissemination of ‘best practice’. Future delivery of the ISP should concentrate on ‘first time’ innovators’ and ‘experienced innovators’. SEL should retain full management control and delivery of innovation services, and sub-contract expertise not available internally.

Author Biggar Economics
Published Year 2009
Report Type Evaluation
  • Innovation
    Business innovation